Personal Computer News


Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Activision
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Personal Computer News #079


Up to the winners' rostrum steps Activision's Decathlon, a ten sport simulation for the Commodore 64 (Spectrum version coming soon). A great all-rounder, it allows you to tackle all ten events in succession or to stay with a single event. Up to four players can compete.

The games take place in front of a grandstand filled with static spectators. For the track events, there are twin red running tracks with two similarly garbed athletes (one athlete is controlled by a player, the other by either the computer or another player).

These two tracks scroll independently of each other - and at times you may think you're breathing down your opponent's neck but a quick look at each track's distance marker may indicate otherwise. A single track and athlete appear in the field events - the athlete controlled by the C64 doesn't take part.


The movements of the athletes are superbly done, smooth and natural like a fully-animated cartoon. The game undoubtedly sets a new high in home computer animation.

Your athlete is made to run by simply waggling your joystick as fast as possible. In certain events, the only other thing you'll need to do is hit the fire button but timing is crucial.

The pole vault is great fun. You waggle away to get your athlete running at top speed, hit the button to launch him, waggle some more to give you extra thrust then fire again to make him let go of the pole. You'll need a similar technique in the hurdles.

There are few sound effects but the stunningly realistic graphics definitely take the gold.

Bob Chappell

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